Mikael Hafstrom went from "Evil" to "Derailed" to "1408", and now, he's gone to "The Rite". Strange, how a filmmaker who can make a horror film as good as "1408" can also manage to make a film as mediocre and disappointing as "The Rite". But then again, "The Rite" is such a different film; more of a drama than a horror film, and only possessing a few good moments whereas "1408" had many scattered throughout. Long story short, it's mildly entertaining, but never is "The Rite" particularly engaging.
"The Rite" is not silly; it is not stupid. It knows some of what it's talking about, such as the subjects of exorcism and the like, but it's not as deep as classics such as "The Exorcist". I don't go in to exorcism horror flicks to get the next "Exorcist". I go to them to see a well-staged exorcism somewhere near the end of the film, along with haunting and scary material/build-up. Alas, that's just not what you get with this film.
A young man named Michael (Colin O'Donoghue) is attending college, which is a seminary school, if only to obtain a free degree. His father was the owner of a mortuary; a religious man who compelled Michael to believe what he believed in, religiously, throughout his child-hood. Michael doubts his own faith, even in the company of the ever-so-faithful, and learns that he might have to become an exorcist. Thus, he consults a much older religious figure, a priest named Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), for guidance in this field; since Lucas has carried out quite a few successful exorcisms in his time.
In his teachings, Michael discovers many things; and helps treat many patients. This would have made for an interesting journey, involving an interesting character, if the film could have touched its many subjects with more delicacy. For what it's worth, the film respects spirituality; and is very much FOR Christianity and the belief in Christ; as all good exorcism films are. But..."The Rite" is not a good exorcism film; even if those don't exactly grow on trees, existent for the picking.
The first major problem that I must point out is the pacing. There are many flaws in this area. The film does not begin as an interesting or engaging film; yet the final twenty minutes or so are pretty entertaining and well-done. But even that can't make up for overall mediocrity.
The second problem lies within the performance of one of the film's stars; Colin O'Donoghue. I just can't call the guy "good" most of the time. Mediocre, perhaps, since he doesn't just plain suck, but I couldn't sympathize or understand the character enough to like the acting. Anthony Hopkins, however, is as good as he always is; turning in yet another praise-worthy performance as an accomplished actor, doing what he likes to do, in movies that he probably doesn't like.
Otherwise, cinematography is all-good, and Hafstrom's filmmaking techniques aren't poor. The film has been criticized heavily by horror sites such as "Bloodydisgusting.com", although I do not trust their writers for watching-inspiration to begin with. If they seriously think that "The Rite" is one of the worst horror films out there, then they are gravely mistaken. It's not bad horror that makes "The Rite" so absurdly uneven; it's bad drama. Maybe that's not the kind of thing that most people expected out of the film, and this might be why they hate it so much. But I don't hate it. In fact, there are things that I do admire about "The Rite"; it's just hard- very hard- to call the film a success.
There are exorcists stationed all around the world. The Vatican have indeed sanctioned a program where each diocese would have an exorcist. This film is based on “true events”. I may believe that the film is indeed based on true events; if very "loosely". The 2011 film “The Rite” is based on the book “The Making of an Exorcist” by Rome-based author Matt Baglio which was published in 2009. Baglio participated in a seminar on exorcism by the Vatican … more
Anthony Hopkins is a wonderful actor. Talented, graceful and capable of inhabiting roles as diverse as a serial killer, a motorcycle enthusiast and a disgraced president. He’s known for wonderful roles in wonderful movies, and therefore it’s somewhat depressing to see him playing a very slightly interesting role in a really not very good movie. The Rite covers one of the strangest aspects of Catholicism (of which I have a famously low opinon), in that it closely examines … more
'The Rite' is a supernatural thriller inspired by true events. The film follows seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) who is sent to the Vatican to study exorcism. Michael is a man with many doubts...not only about demon possession but about his own calling. He challenges his superiors to look to psychiatry, rather than demons in treating the possessed. When Michael arrives in Rome he is order to apprentice with the unorthodox … more
Star Rating: There are the possession movies that are really about nothing more than possession. You know these kinds of movies. They exist primarily for the late night movie crowds; they give the guys an excuse to make their dates scream by sneaking up on them and grabbing their shoulders. And then there are the movies that use possession not as a cheap horror gimmick, but as a means for a character or group of characters to come to terms with their faith. … more
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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